There are many ways to donate plasma. Plasma donations can happen at a blood center, hospital, or at a commercial plasma center. Commercial plasma centers pay donors for their plasma while hospitals and blood centers do not. Below are the most common questions about donating plasma.
What is plasma?
Plasma is the liquid portion of your blood that your body uses to control bleeding, fight infections, and provide nutrients. You need plasma to live a healthy, productive life. It transports red and white blood cells and platelets, and it's the single largest component of human blood.
Why is it important to donate plasma?
Plasma is one of the many blood components donated at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. It’s collected safely from donors and is needed to help people survive life-threatening events. Patients who suffer from trauma or burns are typically the most in need of plasma to replace fluid loss. Plasma is also transfused to some patients with bleeding or clotting disorders.
Does Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center pay for plasma?
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center does not offer compensation for plasma donations. Donors can earn points for each successful donation through our Donor Rewards program and redeem the points for great rewards like digital gift cards or branded apparel.
Cellular Life Solutions is Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center's most recent and innovative move to develop work in the field of cellular therapy. By registering to our digital roster, BioLinked, donors may be selected to help with the nation's most promising health breakthroughs to find cures to today's devastating diseases. Compensation is dependent on the amount budgeted for the clinical trial/study. More information on BioLinked can be found here.
What are the benefits of donating blood with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center?
Donors who give whole blood, double red cells, plasma, or platelets at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center do it because they want to save lives in their community. The blood, plasma, and platelets collected at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is used to help treat trauma patients, burn victims, transplant patients, or cancer patients.
While donors do not receive monetary compensation, they do receive other benefits as a simple way to thank them for helping save lives. These benefits include donor reward points, promotions, giveaways, etc.
What’s the difference between donating plasma with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center vs. donating at a Commercial Plasma Center?
Commercial plasma centers may pay you for your plasma, while Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center does not. The Food and Drug Administration does not prohibit donor centers from paying donors, but hospitals require blood units coming from paid donors to be labeled as such. Why? The short answer is it can be risky. Before donors give blood, they’re given a health history questionnaire that determines risk behaviors. There’s a worry that paying donors would jeopardize the safety of the blood supply. It’s important to note that blood donated at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center and plasma donated at commercial plasma centers are both tested for blood-borne illness. The World Health Organization says donors who give blood voluntarily have a lower prevalence of HIV, hepatitis viruses and other blood-borne infections compared to people who donate in lieu of payment. Studies have also shown that paid donors have higher rates of infectious disease compared to unpaid donors.
What is paid plasma being used for?
Plasma from plasma centers is put to good use too. Plasma centers are typically run by for profit pharmaceutical companies. Paid plasma is used for research, plasma derivatives and reagents. Plasma can be used for reagents for diagnostic test kits. This can help test and diagnose disease. On the research side, paid plasma is used to help find cures for diseases. Paid plasma also gets shipped outside the U.S. to manufacturing plants to make plasma derivatives. Some can be shipped back to the U.S. to develop albumin, immune globulin, and clotting factors.
How long does it take to donate plasma at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center?
The donation process for plasma takes longer than donating whole blood. Plasma is separated from the red blood cells and other cellular components and then put back into the body. The donation process can take around two hours. After donating plasma, you may give plasma again in 28 days.
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is a non-profit. Donated plasma is used for transfusions to help patients in our community.
All these donations are needed. Which type of donor are you?